Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer
Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer
AURORA — Holy Family’s Jessica Mason didn’t know how close she came to sinking an albatross on the par-5 No. 11 at CommonGround Golf Course on Tuesday.
From the gallery: Her mom and grandma pumped their arms in celebration.
It’d come within inches.
At the end of a two-day ruling at the Class 4A state girls golf championships, the Tigers junior added a few more highlights to her eventual 10-stroke victory.
Leading the field by an astounding eight strokes after scoring 3-under 69 on Day 1, Mason finished things off with Day 2’s best score at 71.
Inside the dominant run, Mason went under par in both rounds, while the rest of the field totaled just one of such over the two days.
Her 10-stroke margin of victory was greater than the number of strokes separating the 4A champion and runner-up over the past four years, which was nine.
“I feel like, ‘Just come in, and relax, and have fun’ is the most important thing to do today, and that’s what I did,” Mason said. “It turned out good, 1-under is good.”
With the win, Mason extended Holy Family’s individual title run in girls golf to four straight seasons.
Former ace Hailey Schalk had won the previous three — two in 3A and another in 4A — and was looking to become the first girls golfer in state history to make it 4-for-4 last spring before the pandemic canceled the season.
“It means a lot to keep the win streak going for Holy Family,” Mason said. “I want to keep it going next year, too. Follow Hailey and keep the championship in the school.”
Mason made sure Day 2 lacked any drama on the leaderboard. She made up for it with a dazzling act that left surrounding spectators in awe.
Nearly sinking her second shot on No. 11, Mason had switched clubs from a 6-iron to an 8 prior at the advice of her coach. The ball hit just short of the green and looked to roll over the top of the hole.
Mason settled for eagle — her second of the tournament — and finished her round with two birdies and just three bogeys.
“Jessica has really evolved and she’s followed a great program, and has worked hard to get better is the main thing,” Holy Family coach Matt Schalk said. “She’s become a smart player out on the course. She really understands course management and knows how to attack these courses. And that showed today.”
Mullen’s Sofia Choi had the only other under-par round in the tournament, going 71 on Day 2 to finish second at 6-over 150.
Discovery Canyon’s Emily Cheng was third (152) and led the Thunder to a team championship. Mead’s Timbre Shehee and Ponderosa’s Morgan Palermo tied for fourth at 154.
“Obviously the ultimate goal was to win,” Shehee said. “But at the end of the day, I was just happy I got out here and played two pretty solid rounds of golf.”
Mason and Shehee, both juniors, had been the top area golfers in 4A throughout the spring season. Both won their regionals two weeks ago, and at state, the two were put together in the lead group on the final day.
“I’m super proud of Jessica,” Shehee said. “I love the way she plays. I love her attitude. She’s super deserving of the win.”
Holy Family finished fifth as a team at 102-over 534. Mead was eighth (571) and Niwot was 10th (587).
Other local players in the top 50 included Niwot’s Halie Ostrom (170), Niwot’s Sydney Rothstein (175), Centaurus’ Julia Love (176), Holy Family’s Madison Rooney (185), Erie’s Sydney O’Connor (196), Erie’s Marin Cantwell (197), Frederick’s Olivia Fauerbach (201) and Mead’s Jodean Amen (203).